Police are coming under fire for killing an anteater they captured by caging it outdoors in freezing temperatures, the intellectual strain of phoning the zoo which reported it missing apparently having proven too much for them.
Chiba police responding to a report of an “animal like a civet” captured a 2-year-old male lesser anteater (or southern tamandua, a species native to tropical South America) on the 24th of December, the animal having escaped from a Chiba prefecture zoo in November.
Making no attempt to give the creature food or water, they left it outdoors in a cage, putting a blanket over it at night. It was dead the following morning, having froze to death in weather which reached 0°C that night.
Police say that “As a rule we keep animals outside. We’d like to make sure we have appropriate procedures in place.”
The zoo, which had kept the animals indoors for winter, managed to lose two of the creatures in November, and reported them missing to police. Police declined to follow up on the report.
The police soon came under fire for their treatment of the creature:
“Isn’t this dereliction of duty?”
“It would have lived if they’d just put it indoors! Arrest them!”
“How’d they know how to keep an anteater!”
“Even if they didn’t, if they bothered to follow up on the missing anteater report they’d have saved it!”
“The people who lost it are at fault here.”
“Even if they are, it doesn’t excuse police not doing their job.”
“The ones who managed to lose it have no right to complain.”
“Well they are both at fault.”
“Leaving aside the zoo’s ability to lose it, the cops are total scum for doing nothing about a lost animal, it is not like they don’t get missing pet reports.”
“Our taxes at work again…”
“Our police can’t be expected to care for anteaters.”
“Our police are clearly in need of more anteater specialists.”
“Any moron could be expected to call a zoo.”
“Leaving a small animal out in the depths of winter. Unbelievable.”
“They kill people, and leave animals to freeze to death. What can you say.”
“It’s the end of the year, they were busy. It can’t be helped.”
“I screwed up because I was busy – try using that in the private sector.”
“They have behaved outrageously… the animal was obviously out of place and yet they did absolutely nothing for it and made no inquiries at all. This is why people have such a low opinion of the Chiba PD.”
“They found an animal this unusual, yet they made no inquiries, didn’t ask any zoos or vets, couldn’t even Google how to keep it, and just left it outside. Even a child would know to find out what it eats, whether it bites or is poisonous or whatever.”
“What do you expect, these people are basically idiots and cannot manage anything like that.”
“They probably just wanted to make an example out of it. Don’t blame them.”
“Poor thing. How cold it must have been.”